APEC 2023 Conference Briefing on Burns Highlighted Challenges in Burn Injury


The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, which hosted its 2023 Conference Briefing on Burns on Aug. 30, saw a distinguished lineup of speakers in the global burn treatment community addressing the pressing issue of burn injury and burn care in their countries throughout the Asia-Pacific. The conference briefing is one of many such briefings and satellite meetings happening in advance of the 2023 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting where global leaders and heads of state will descend in November on San Francisco, this year’s host city. 

Kicking off the conference on burns, Kevin Xu, president of MEBO Group and co-chair of the APEC 2023 Host Committee, and an investor in Street Media, delivered the opening remarks. He called for a diverse range of voices to be heard at this year’s meeting, stressing the importance of contributions from sectors such as NGOs and medical associations.

Then, Dr. Tina L. Palmieri, assistant chief of burns at Shriners Children’s Northern California; burn division chief at the University of California, Davis; past-president ABA, current ISBI treasurer, expressed her thanks for Kevin’s insightful remarks. She proceeded to highlight the substantial global impact of burns, particularly within APEC nations, and noted the alarming increase in incidents of fires worldwide.

Dr. Robert Cartotto, president of the American Burn Association, shared a poignant story of his patient John, a burn survivor of a car accident, and he underscored the profound physical and psychological effects of burns for the patient. Dr. Cartotto then delved into the broader economic implications of burns in Canada, along with the nation’s approach to burn care. He revealed that around 25,000 Canadians sought emergency care for burn injuries, while 2,500 were hospitalized due to burns.

Dr. Jeremy Rawlins, president of the Australia/New Zealand Burn Association recounted his personal experience of a minor burn that disrupted his work routine. He then discussed the escalating frequency of wildfires in Australia, resulting in substantial economic and human life losses for the nation. He specifically mentioned that barbecues were a prominent cause of burn injuries in Australia.

Addressing the burn situation in India, Dr. Rajeev Ahuja, founding president of the Asia Pacific Burn Association, revealed that approximately five million Indians live with disabilities resulting from burn injuries. Moreover, half of India’s burn victims suffer from burns with more than 50 percent of total body surface area. He highlighted the correlation between burn injuries and poverty, and introduced the challenges India faced in burn management.

Dr. Folke Sjoberg, president of the International Society for Burn Injuries provided an overview of the society, its evolution, and its diverse and multidisciplinary teams. He also highlighted the advancements in global burn care.

Dr. Ariel Miranda, secretary of the ISBI and a plastic surgeon and chief of the pediatric burn unit in Guadalajara, Mexico discussed the organization’s objectives, including collaboration with NGOs and prioritized inclusion of low-income nations as members. He also elaborated on the benefits of joining ISBI and the society’s developmental strategies.

As a corporate partner and organizing committee member of the APEC 2023 Conference, MEBO Group would launch peripheral activities centering around wound care and burn management during the event, bringing together international scholars and experts in the field to offer solutions and strategic insights to conference participants.

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